cover image The Curse of Tenth Grave

The Curse of Tenth Grave

Darynda Jones. St. Martin's, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-07819-3

Bestseller Jones's 10th Charley Davidson novel (after The Dirt on Ninth Grave) opens with an arresting sentence: "Ignoring the dead girl standing next to me, I crossed my bare feet on the cool windowsill, took a sip of piping-hot coffee, and watched the emerging sunrise from my third-story apartment window." For the uninitiated, Davidson soon reveals herself to be a deity. She's married to the worst of the three gods of Uzan, Reyes, who "destroyed worlds and obliterated life wherever he went." In addition, Charley's own daughter is "destined to defeat Satan and save the world." Providing contrast with the high stakes of this backstory and the eventual mystery plot are snatches of snarky humor (for example, Charley refuses to be friends with the archangel Michael because he once tried to kill her). And despite Reyes's reputation for evil, Charley can't keep her eyes or hands off his "perfect ass." This mix of romance, mystery, and the supernatural may be an acquired taste, but series fans will be enthralled. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (June)